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Cloud

+ - 127 The Cloud Will Expand Human Brain Capacity: Kurzweil->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Futurist and author Ray Kurzweil predicts the cloud will eventually do more than store our emails or feed us streaming movies on demand: it’s going to help expand our brain capacity beyond its current limits.

In a question-and-answer session following a speech to the DEMO technology conference in Santa Clara, California last week, Kurzweil described the human brain as impressive but limited in its capacity to hold information. “By the time we’re even 20, we’ve filled it up,” he said, adding that the only way to add information after that point is to “repurpose our neocortex to learn something new.” (Computerworld has posted up the full video of the talk.)

The solution to overcoming the brain’s limitations, he added, involves “basically expanding our brains into the cloud.”"

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China

+ - 154 Apple Maps Accidentally Reveals Secret Military Base In Taiwan->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "After one Taiwanese newspaper snapped and printed a satellite photo of a top-secret military base from the new Maps application running on an iPhone 5, the defense ministry of Taiwan on Tuesday publicly requested Apple blur the sensitive images of the country’s classified military installations. The top-secret radar base, located in the northern county of Hsinchu, contains a highly-advanced ultra-high-frequency long-range radar that military officials say can detect missiles launched as far away as the city of Xinjiang, which is located in northwest China. The radar system was obtained via US-based defense group Raytheon in 2003, and is still being constructed with hopes to be completed by the end of this year. “Regarding images taken by commercial satellites, legally we can do nothing about it,” said David Lo, the spokesman of Taiwan's defense ministry, in a statement to reporters. “But we’ll ask Apple to lower the resolution of satellite images of some confidential military establishments the way we’ve asked Google in the past.”"
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China

+ - 151 Counterfeit Air Bag Racket Blows Up 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Joan Lowry reports that that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has alerted the auto repair industry that tens of thousands of car owners may be driving vehicles with counterfeit air bags that fail to inflate properly or don't inflate at all and although no deaths or injuries have been tied to the counterfeit bags, but it's unclear whether police accident investigators would be able to identify a counterfeit bag from a genuine one. The counterfeit bags typically have been made to look like air bags made by automakers and usually include a manufacturer's logo but government investigators believe many of the bags come from China. Auto dealerships that operate their own body shops are usually required by their franchise agreements to buy their parts, including air bags, directly from automakers and therefore are unlikely to have installed counterfeit bags but only 37 percent of auto dealers have their own body shops so many consumers whose vehicles have been damaged are referred by their insurance companies to auto body shops that aren't affiliated with an automaker. Safety officials will warn millions of Americans that the air bags in over 100 vehicle models could be dangerous counterfeits, telling them to have their cars and trucks inspected as soon as possible. Dai Zhensong, a Chinese citizen, had the counterfeit air bags manufactured by purchasing genuine auto air bags that were torn down and used to produce molds to manufacture the counterfeit bags. Trademark emblems were purchased through dealerships located in China and affixed to the counterfeit air bags which were then advertised on the Guangzhou Auto Parts website and sold for approximately $50 to $70 each, far below the value of an authentic air bag. The NHTSA has made a list of automobiles available that may be at risk for having counterfeit air bags."
Space

+ - 190 Investigation into solar storm sat-nav disruption->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "Scientists in the Arctic have launched an urgent investigation into how solar storms can disrupt sat-nav.

Studies have revealed how space weather can cut the accuracy of GPS by tens of metres. Flares from the Sun interact with the upper atmosphere and can distort the signals from global positioning satellites.

The project is under way at a remote observatory on a windswept mountainside in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard in the High Arctic. The site was chosen for its isolation from electronic pollution and for its position in relation to the Earth's magnetic field which flows from space down towards the far North."

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Android

+ - 156 Smartphone companies are now entering a phase of Mutually Assured Destruction->

Submitted by Tryfen
Tryfen (216209) writes "As patent trials rage across the globe, it has become clear that smartphone companies are engaged in Mutually Assured Destruction. What's the endgame here? Do they all capitulate and cross-licence their patents? Are they forced to buy patents and pass the costs onto customers? Will companies withdraw — voluntarily or otherwise — from the smartphone space?"
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GNU is Not Unix

+ - 97 MediaGoblin partners with FSF on fundraiser to decentralize media publishing->

Submitted by
paroneayea
paroneayea writes "MediaGoblin and the FSF team up to decentralize media publishing! MediaGoblin, a free software, decentralized alternative to web services like Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc, and has made a lot of progress, but needs more direct (financial) help to fully realize its dream. Read more on the mediagoblin blog or check out this excellent article by Bruce Byfield in Linux Pro Magazine."
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Android

+ - 173 An iPhone user shows how to switch to Android->

Submitted by
GMGruman
GMGruman writes "In the last year, Android smartphones have significantly improved, while the iPhone's improvements have gotten incremental. So iPhone users may now seriously consider getting an Android device. This how-to shows how someone in the Apple ecosystem — Macs, iPads, Apple TV, etc. — can bring an Android smartphone into the mix. Surprisingly, it turns out that Android can work with much of the Apple ecosystem, such as iCloud, with a few apps and a little savvy."
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+ - 191 Intelligence agencies turn to crowdsourcing->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "IARPA — the sister agency to DARPA — is sponsoring researchers to examine crowdsourcing as a method to derive better intelligence predictions. The article says that this research will eventually be transitioned to the intelligence community to improve national intelligence estimates. Anyone can participate — even the general public. www.globalcrowd.com"
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Microsoft

+ - 103 Microsoft CEO Ballmer: We're a Devices and Services Company-> 1

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "And according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's latest shareholder letter (not exactly a gripping read), Microsoft sees itself as a “devices and services company.” The subsequent 1,200-odd words hammer that point, mentioning software such as Office and Windows 8 largely in the context of tablets and other hardware—and while Ballmer acknowledges the “vast ecosystem of partners” building a “broad spectrum of Windows PCs, tablets and phones,” he leaves the door wide open to Microsoft building its own toys in-house.

If one takes Ballmer’s words at face value, it seems that Surface, the tablet Microsoft’s building in-house and promoting as a “flagship” Windows 8 device, isn’t so much a lark but the harbinger of the company’s future direction. Whether Microsoft’s decision to build its own devices affects its long-term relationship with Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other manufacturing titans remains to be seen. Perhaps Ballmer can take some comfort from Apple, which profited enormously by pursuing the “we build everything in-house” route. But it’s indisputable that a devices-centric approach is new ground for Microsoft."

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Government

+ - 280 Confirmed: Germany Monitors Skype, Google Mail, Yahoo Mail and Facebook chat->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "German Government has went a bit too far trying to be transparent and has inadvertently revealed that German police monitors Skype, Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and Facebook chat as and when necessary. The revelations come as the German Government let out figures of expenses incurred by the Federal Ministry of the Interior following a parliamentary inquiry, which were spotted by the annalist blog. The pages contain a whole lot of tables and as many would find those boring, some pages reveal something very startling. On page 34 and page 37 of the report line item 486 and 265 respectively, represent decoding software for Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail for prevention and investigation."
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Privacy

+ - 196 Government Censors Draft Snooping Laws->

Submitted by coolstoryhansel
coolstoryhansel (1827480) writes "Stating that release of the draft legislation is not in the public interest [PDF] because it would prejudice decision making processes already in train, the Attorney General's Department has denied the release of the draft laws that would see wide-scale dragnet surveillance implemented along with an expansion of law enforcement powers for the purposes of 'national security'.

Serkowski, speaking for the Pirate Party who lodged the FOI request labelled the Department response as "disgraceful and troubling" saying the decision is "completely trashing any semblance or notion of transparency or participative democratic process of policy development.""

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Microsoft

+ - 107 Ballmer sees Microsoft becoming more like Apple->

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) writes "This from Reuters

Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has signaled a new direction for the world's largest software company, pointing to hardware and online services as its future, taking a page from long-time rival Apple Inc.

Ballmer's comments in his annual letter to shareholders published on Tuesday suggested that Microsoft may eventually make its own phones to build on its forthcoming own-brand Surface tablet PC and market-leading Xbox gaming console.

"There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface," wrote Ballmer.

The new approach mimics Apple Inc, whose massively successful iPhone and iPad demonstrated tight integration of high-quality software and hardware and made Windows devices feel clunky in comparison."

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Science

+ - 152 Geneticists to economists: You're racist!->

Submitted by scibri
scibri (2544842) writes "One side is accused of supporting ethnic cleansing; the other of being intellectually naive. Geneticists and economists are struggling to collaborate on research that explores how our genes influence and interact with economic behaviour.

Top economists are publishing a paper that claims a country’s genetic diversity can predict the success of its economy. To critics, the economists’ paper seems to suggest that a country’s poverty could be the result of its citizens’ genetic make-up, and the paper is attracting charges of genetic determinism, and even racism. But the economists say that they have been misunderstood, and are merely using genetics as a proxy for other factors that can drive an economy, such as history and culture."

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ISS

+ - 140 Dragon captured: SpaceX's first ISS supply mission is a success->

Submitted by puddingebola
puddingebola (2036796) writes "From the aricle, "The SpaceX Dragon capsule has been successfully grabbed by the International Space Station, marking the first time a private American space flight has run a supply mission to the orbiting platform. The crew of the ISS snatched Dragon out of orbit ahead of schedule, using the space station’s robotic arm to guide the capsule in after its careful approach."

NASA has also posted video of the docking."

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Security

+ - 95 RSA splits passwords in two to foil hackers' attacks->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "A product that scrambles and then splits users' passwords in two before storing them on different computer servers has been unveiled by RSA.

The security firm says the facility offers better protection against hackers, who would only gain access to half a "randomised" password in the case of a successful attack.

The firm said the idea had been discussed by academics for some time.

However, one expert said it would only prevent a minority of attacks.

RSA's distributed credential protection (DCP) facility was announced at the company's annual European Conference in London. "DCP scrambles, randomises and splits sensitive credentials, passwords and Pins and the answers to life or challenge questions into two locations," said the firm's marketing mamanger Liz Robinson."

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Science

+ - 165 The LED is 50 years old->

Submitted by
BoxRec
BoxRec writes "The light-emitting diode has brightened our lives for half a century — from lighting up the city streets at night, to decorating Christmas trees each December.
The LED started life in October 1962, as a single red illumination in a General Electric research lab in New York state.
Prof Nick Holonyak Jr from the University of Illinois, takes a look back at how it all began with his invention of the first practical visible-spectrum light-emitting diode."

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Chrome

+ - 102 Teenager Pinkie Pie Cracks Google Chrome, Again->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Pinkie Pie, a teenager, a hacker, has come up with a Full Chrome exploit at the HackInTheBox conference in Malaysia. The exploit, if confirmed by Google HQ, will bag the teenager a whopping US$60,000 cash reward making it two times in a row. Chris Evans, a Google engineer, will be revealing all the successful exploits at the end of the conference tomorrow afternoon. Earlier Pinkie Pie won top prize at the CanSecWest Pwnium event where he used multiple exploits to escape the Chrome Sandbox. Given the reputation of Pinkie Pie, it won't be far fetched to say that Chrome has been cracked once again."
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Facebook

+ - 121 Facebook agrees to pay $10 to each 'Sponsored Stories' victim->

Submitted by
thinkpadx220
thinkpadx220 writes "Facebook is agreeing to pay up to $10 each to users who appeared in the social-networking site's "Sponsored Stories" advertising program without their permission.
The revised settlement agreement (.pdf) to a class action, lodged Saturday, comes two months after a federal judge said he had "serious concerns" with the deal, which originally had provided a $10 million payout to attorneys suing Facebook and $10 million to activist and research groups in what is known as a cy pres award.
Under the new plan offered for U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg's approval, Facebook and class-action attorneys are proposing that the same size $20 million pot be shared by charity, the class-action attorneys and the 125 million U.S. Facebook users who appeared in a "Sponsored Story" without consent.
Only a small fraction of plaintiffs in a class-action usually fill out the necessary paperwork to collect their rewards. If everybody did in this instance, that would amount to 2 cents each.
Under California law, Seeborg said each plaintiff could be awarded as much as $750 if the case went to trial. Under the new plan, Seeborg has the power to reduce the amount to each victim or give the pot to charity in the event of overwhelming response from class members.
Under the old deal and the new one lodged Saturday, Facebook agreed to give its adult users the right to "control" but not eliminate how the social-networking site uses their faces in ads under Facebook's "Sponsored Stories" program. Minors have the ability to completely opt out.
"Sponsored Stories" basically turns the act of pressing the Facebook "Like" button into a potential commercial endorsement. If a Facebook user clicks the "Like" button for a product or service with a Facebook page, that user's profile picture and name may be automatically used in advertisements for that product or service that appear in the their friends' Facebook pages. Facebook also reserves the right to show such ads on sites other than Facebook.
The suit, (.pdf) filed in April 2011, claimed Facebook did not adequately inform people of the "Sponsored Stories" feature or give them a way to opt out of the advertising program, which began in January 2011. Under the deal, in which Facebook admits no wrongdoing, Facebook agrees to clarify its terms of service:
You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information. If you have selected a specific audience for your content or information, we will respect your choice when we use it.
While the deal offers little future protection to Facebook users, about a dozen privacy groups and universities stand to reap millions under the accord if Facebook users and the class-action attorneys don't exhaust the $20 million pot. Under the deal, the attorneys said they would submit their fee request within three weeks after Seeborg approves the deal.
A hearing before Seeborg in San Francisco is scheduled for Oct. 25."

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ISS

+ - 141 Dragon ready to dock with space station->

Submitted by
SternisheFan
SternisheFan writes "(CNN) -SpaceX's Dragon capsule is just hours away from an on-schedule meeting with the International Space Station. The crew of the space station will use a robotic arm to "grapple" the spacecraft, which is filled with 1,000 pounds of supplies for the astronauts, at 7:17 a.m. ET Wednesday, a written statement from SpaceX said. The time could change, the company said, and the capsule will pause three times for go/no-go checks using information from its close-range guidance systems before berthing. About two hours after it is captured, the unmanned capsule will be bolted into place for its two-and-a-half-week stay. After the resupplies are pulled off, astronauts will reload the craft with scientific experiments and failed equipment that can be repaired and sent back.
    SpaceX launched the first commercial space cargo mission on Sunday night. But a minute and 19 seconds after the Falcon 9 booster lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, one of the nine Merlin engines that power the rocket "lost pressure suddenly," the company disclosed Monday. The rocket "did exactly what it was designed to do," as its flight computer made adjustments to keep the Dragon headed into the proper orbit. California-based SpaceX said earlier that controllers are reviewing flight data in an effort to figure out what happened to the booster rocket, but initial readings indicate the No. 1 engine fairing broke apart under stress. Sunday's launch was the fiirst of a dozen freight runs SpaceX, founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, is slated to make to the station under a contract with NASA, which plans to turn much of its focus toward exploring deep into the solar system. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden called it "a critical event in space flight."
    SpaceX, meanwhile, is looking beyond just cargo flights to developing a human-rated version of the Dragon that would carry astronauts to the ISS. It's one of three companies, along with Sierra Nevada and aerospace giant Boeing, that NASA has chosen to work on the project."

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